An electrostatic alternative

Jeremiah Gray, COO and founding partner of EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives, gives us an introduction to electrostatic disinfection.

New cleaning technologies now make it possible for managers to maintain healthier facilities by disinfecting more area in less time. Electrostatic disinfection is rapidly gaining adoption, though the technology may still be relatively unknown in many cleaning industry sectors.

Electrostatic evolution

Before the introduction of electrostatic technology, traditional spray equipment had problems with transfer efficiency: the measure of how much chemical reaches the surface versus the percentage lost to the floor and surrounding environment.

In industrial painting applications, this typically meant about 25% of the paint adhered to the surface while 75% was lost to other areas. The result was a slow, costly process.

With the emergence of electrostatic spraying technology, which creates a magnetic attraction between the spray droplets and the targeted surface, transfer efficiencies skyrocketed to 80%, even upwards of 95% in certain industries. For auto assembly lines, this meant car painting could be done 80% faster, with over 50% savings in paint usage for the same process.


The cleaning and infection prevention sector is another industry ripe for disruption and improvement beyond the limitations of its existing tools. The challenges plaguing cleaning professionals worldwide are often not a result of ineffective chemicals. The industry has done well enough in improving disinfectant and sanitising chemistries over the years to adequately meet the needs of most professionals. However, the lack of time, resources, and budgets necessary to stay ahead of ever-growing public health threats continues to pose an even greater challenge.

A chief concern within the cleaning industry has been the inability to achieve more complete surface coverage within a limited timeframe. The job of a cleaning professional is not an easy one. Using traditional tools like mops, buckets or rags takes an unrealistic amount of time to effectively clean, sanitise or disinfect all surfaces thoroughly enough to eliminate lurking pathogens.

At a time when the stakes are higher than ever before, addressing time constraints, reaching more spaces and increasing compliance are critical but, with cleaning budgets continuing to decline, hiring additional staff isn’t the answer.

Given the challenges that our industry faces each day, it would seem that electrostatics would have been adopted for disinfection purposes decades ago. However, it wasn’t until the past few years that electrostatic spraying technology became portable, economical and simple enough to use, making it a more reasonable and practical option for FMs and service contractors to consider.

Electrostatic sprayers can empower users with the ability to eliminate pathogens more effectively. As positively charged disinfectant droplets exit the nozzle, the magnetic attraction creates a 360° wrap-around effect, thereby covering 100% of surface areas. With a quick pass of the electrostatic device over potentially contaminated surface areas, near total coverage is achieved in a matter of minutes rather than the hours it once took, which typically left 25% or more of surfaces untouched.

Now, rather than using traditional approaches to reactively contain outbreaks once the public is already ill, the cleaning industry can proactively prevent infectious outbreaks with enhanced disinfection measures.

The benefits

As development of electrostatic spraying technologies continue to advance, facilities of all types are seeing dramatic decreases in labour and costs. The same number of cleaning staff can now thoroughly disinfect every surface, even previously impossible to reach spaces, and cover every square foot of a facility in the same amount of time.

Users have reported experiencing 80% faster disinfection time and three times greater surface coverage per ounce while using 60% less chemicals per square foot. The ability to triple output and productivity without increasing staff or budgets is a game-changer for cleaning professionals everywhere.

However, undoubtedly the most valuable benefit is being able to proactively prevent the spread of viruses, healthcare associated infections (HAIs), and infectious outbreaks.


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